Growing up, it was my parents who introduced me to travel through trips to Disney World, Arizona, Mexico, Hawaii (my personal favorite), and England.
Heck, I even have a few fond memories of our driving tour of Pennsylvania Dutch Country!
But, for many American families, travel, even budget travel, is considered a luxury they can't afford.
And as I learned at last December's White House Global Summit for Study Abroad, surprisingly few American students either choose to take advantage of or can even afford to study overseas.
All this is to say I'm happy to share news of a new non-profit founded by my friend Matt Kepnes, better known as Nomadic Matt, to encourage travel abroad by students in underprivileged communities.
In today's post announcing The Foundation for Leadership and Youth Travel Education (FLYTE), Matt explains:
FLYTE’s mission is to provide the resources and funding to help high schools in underserved U.S. communities send kids overseas.
We are doing this to help students become global citizens, bring life to the subjects they learn in school, and expose them to new ideas and cultures.
The new foundation has a clear mission and values, and already recruited a Board of Directors and an Executive Director in Courtney Dalton, and partnered with several tour companies to help with the on-the-ground learning opportunities.
But for FLYTE to take flight, and begin creating new opportunities to change American students' lives, they need our help.
FLYTE's goal is to raise $250,000 in the next few weeks to launch the foundation and fund five student trips within their first year.
I've read the business plan and have the utmost confidence donations will be used for their intended purposes. In fact, I donated myself just a few minutes ago.
Of course Matt is offering some sweet incentives to make giving even more rewarding than that warm fuzzy feeling you get by contributing to a good cause.
Smaller donors, which almost always represent the majority for funded projects like these, are rewarded with free copies of Matt's books, t-shirts, and other swag.
Donate $1,000+ and he's giving away flights! For the full list of goodies, check out Matt's blog post.
And once again, if you want to help kids experience the world beyond U.S. borders, please click here to donate.